Fresh round of town's superstore wars
By Rebecca SheppardA SUPERMARKET chain has unveiled a new plan for a store in a market town in the latest episode of a five-year-long battle.Tesco has submitted a planning application to Babergh District Council for a new supermarket on the Brett Works site in Hadleigh, next to High Street's main shopping area.
By Rebecca Sheppard
A SUPERMARKET chain has unveiled a new plan for a store in a market town in the latest episode of a five-year-long battle.
Tesco has submitted a planning application to Babergh District Council for a new supermarket on the Brett Works site in Hadleigh, next to High Street's main shopping area.
It first applied for planning permission for the site in 1999, but was turned down by the council. Tesco subsequently lost its appeal against that decision following a planning inquiry.
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The inquiry inspector said Hadleigh needed more food retail shopping and the site fitted Government guidelines for the location of supermarkets in town centres.
But he withheld approval from Tesco because of some concerns regarding the access to the proposed supermarket and its design.
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Tesco has now returned with a fresh plan, which included two alternative access points from Bridge Street.
But Jan Byrne, chairman of the Hadleigh Society, pledged to continue opposing the plan for a superstore on the site.
“We are anti the store on that riverside site because of all the implications it has for the town. This current application is as bad, if not worse, than the original one,” she said.
“If Tesco wants to come to Hadleigh, there are other sites available, including the Buyright site. We will be strongly opposing the proposal.”
However, Roy Smith, chairman of the Tesco Supporters' Group, said it was pleased with the latest development.
“I am afraid a lot of people became despondent when the inquiry ruled against Tesco, though it was only on two points,” he added.
“We are hoping that this time it will be successful. Tesco are going a little more slowly, but more thoroughly and there was a change of councillors in May, so we are hoping for a favourable response.”
Katherine Edwards, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said its proposals would enhance the town centre, providing greater choice, competition and quality shopping for residents.
“Hadleigh residents will be able to do their shopping closer to home, saving them the 16-mile round trip to Ipswich that most people currently have to do for their main food shop,” he added.
Meanwhile, Babergh District Council's strategy committee will discuss the principle of having a supermarket on the Buyright site in Calais Street at a meeting on January 8 ahead of a public inquiry later this year.
The meeting will also deal with the local plan for Hadleigh, on which there have been 641 objections to the supermarket allocation alone and 93 representations in support.